Antisocial Personality Disorder, Drug Use, and Suicide

Carlos Mejia Mosquera

Mejia Mosquera, Carlos; Palacio, Carlos; Garcia, Jenny; Gallego, Michel University of Antioquia/ University of Antioquia, Colombia

In the last 50 years, Colombia has suffered an armed conflict with multiple social, economic and political consequences. Antisocial behaviors, substance abuse, and suicide represent important public health problems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the socio-demographic, clinical, crime, and drug use characteristics of individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) as compared to a group without ASPD; based on DSM-IV-TR criteria. The sample (n=105) was recruited from the Bellavista prison, in the city of MedellĂ­n, and consisted of 91 percent of individuals who belonged to a low socioeconomic level, with a mean of seven years of schooling, 85 percent did not have a stable relationship, and 60 percent were unemployed or sub-employed. The most frequent crimes committed by this sample were extortion (24.5 percent) and theft (22.5 percent). Forty-five subjects with ASPD were compared to 60 subjects without ASPD. Odds ratio (OR) and 95 percent confidence intervals (95 percent CI) were calculated. The results showed that the sample with ASPD had a significantly higher likelihood of having a family history of suicide (OR:1.7; 95 percent CI:1.4-2.0), and a family history of legal problems (OR:5.9; 95 percent CI:2.3-15.2), as well as a personal history of current alcohol dependence (OR:2.8, 95 percent CI:1.2-6.6), marijuana dependence (OR:4.7; 95 percent CI:1.8-11.8), cocaine dependence (OR:3.2; 95 percent CI:1.2-8.1), and benzodiazepine dependence (OR:4.8; 95 percent CI:1.4-16.6). There was no significant association between APSD and personal history of suicide attempts (OR:1.2; 95 percent CI:0.27-1.4). The results show that compared with prisoners without ASPD, prisoners with ASPD are more likely to have substance use disorders but are not more likely to have a history of suicide attempts. This suggests that although prisoners with ASPD have more deviant behaviors, they are unlikely to show remorse, as manifested by their lower rate of suicide attempts. Therefore, substance abuse programs should make additional efforts to prevent and treat substance abuse among individuals with ASPD.

Abstract Year: 
Abstract Region: 
Latin America & Caribbean
Abstract Country: 
Abstract Category: